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You Can Hate Donald Trump and Object to Electronic Voting Machines at the Same Time

Schismogenesis in Bill Gated-funded sites (those machines run Windows with back doors):


I NEED to clarify upfront I do not believe the 2020 election in the United States was “stolen” and I do not support Donald Trump. He disgusts me.

The United States is still “using fraudulent voting machines” with back doors, a friend has reminded me. But the media giants aren’t talking about and “associating opposition to fraudulent voting technologies/products with crazies. Other crazies will defend fraudulent voting technologies/products for no other reason than those two crazies are opposed to them…”

Techrights did at least 2 “statements” on this issue [1, 2] just to clarify voting machines are no good regardless of news sites’ rhetoric.

Quit using opaque electronic voting machines and then lessen the likilohood of armed fanatics storming government buildings in an act of overt insurrection.

No, I Will NOT Download Your ‘App’ (I Won’t Buy a ‘Smart’ Phone, Either)

I wrote about the misuse of technology to worsen customer service just less than a day ago and thought I’d expand in my personal blog, based on a personal story.

Just over a day ago I went to the local bank and then visited 2 more banks. I could not help but notice that the people facing public at the bank are young and inexperienced, maybe by intention. This makes them not only cheap to employ but also rather useless as advisors or whatever else you might need. It’s like talking to an intern, not even a clerk, or a person herding people into “apps”/self-checkout (the latter is a good analogy for what bank “apps” actually are).

I spoke to a friend about it and he told me it is the same at the one remaining bank office where he lives. He said “they probably get minimum wage, if that…”

Maybe part-time temporary hanging by a thread, obeying every request from just about anyone else in the branch.

Just for the record, Nationwide had a young and borderline rude ‘clerk’, who wasn’t even a clerk and was totally not helpful, probably even lying to prevent me talking to the supervisor (lying is bad, no matter what). At NatWest, however, they had like a 50-year old, who not only escorted me for advice at the cushy office but also phoned the number for me and let me have the room for myself (to talk to “Richard” over the telephone). I thanked her at the end. That was good service. In the past I ranted a lot about NatWest, but on that occasion the service was better. Having said that, they too try to send people to “apps” and “Web sites”…

I am neither young or old, so I can probably not be accused of ageism when I say older workers tend to be nicer, at least at banks; or as a friend put it, “probably the youngest are not just rude but full of rage and lash out or more commonly just plain mean…”

I said that when you are 20-25 and have no prospect of long-term career in the discipline, the desire to learn in depth the job – and its context – may diminish because there is something to be said about giving assurances to professionals and consistent specialities.

But this leads me to the main subject/purpose of this post, which is to rant about banks expecting people to carry around a mobile “phone” and then install (and in turn learn) proprietary “apps” instead of doing things over the counter. According to media in Zimbabwe, as per a report from the other day, banks there got rid of about 75% of their workers. Not only is this bad for employment; it also means that many services previously done by skilled people are no longer offered. The banks go through a process of “enshittification” for the purpose of “cost-savings” and we all – collectively – pay the price. Resist and don’t let them get away with it. Demand that they have staff you can speak to, not some “app” you can download if you carry around a spying device (you ought not).

Techrights Has Grown Beyond the World Wide Web

I don’t typically check Web statistics (I stopped checking for this site over a decade ago because it was a waste of time that did not help meaningfully improve anything, except ego or vanity), but this past week in Techrights 4 million requests (hits) were served over HTTP/S and since the start of this month almost 400,000 requests were served over Gemini. IPFS does about 40 GB of traffic per day, circulating Techrights content in a peer-to-peer fashion.

This coming December it will be one year since I resigned from my job (after nearly 12 years). The decision to leave likely came later than it ought to have come; I thought about it since 2018, but it finally happened last October when they were trying to force everyone to adopt a work mobile phone.

Techrights has grown not only on the Web. It is growing outside the Web and this is very important because this means the site’s relevance isn’t tried to the relevance of the Web itself.

Sirius Open Source Inc. Shuffling Between Credit Cards to Barely Pay Bills

Video download link | md5sum 31260807834863dcb60ccf64d9155b42
Sirius Failure to Pay Providers
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The Sirius ‘Open Source’ CEO and other ‘management’ staff are to blame for major outages/downtimes clients were experiencing; while they were busy eating or pretending to be busy it was the technical staff taking 24/7 support calls and fighting to restore services (after management failed to pay bills, even repeatedly, in spite of repeated reminders)

THE video above covers a clear (slam-dunk) case of gross incompetence/negligence by managers at Sirius. We’ll be showing more examples later this month. From the clients’ perspective, such gross incompetence by Sirius management may merit a refund (failing to meet SLAs for sure) and would typically constitute gross misconduct — albeit only in a company that actually holds managers too accountable (they won’t hold themselves accountable and step down/resign upon failure; instead they say absurd things). Mr. “Art of the Deal” is no good role model unless we ran a truly scammy operation.

The Pension Appzone

SOME days ago I ranted about totally useless ‘apps’ and ‘Web sites’ that are falsely marketed as making things easier even though in practice they mostly offload/outsource all/most of the actual work to the clients. Their real purpose is to lessen expenses for private companies that formerly had actual staff, offering actual service (of course those useless ‘apps’ and ‘Web sites’ also lead to a severe unemployment problems).

Today people are ‘meant’ to study how to do all their banking (different interface for each bank), how to process and package their groceries (different machines and different programs in each chain of stores). The list goes on and on. Apparently many people are self-taught ‘masters’ of how to manage water bills and power bills ‘online’ or with ‘apps’. This means no trail of paper either. Is that a plus?

I don’t mean to blow a bubble here. I’m far from the first person to complain (or even rant about this repeatedly). The world is becoming a more difficult place. Technology was meant to simplify life, to make life easier through automation. So how did we end up having to ‘learn’ (self-train) a lot more? This is not progress.

Case of point: I want to move my pension away from some awful provider. I have no online account and don’t wish to create one. I paid into this particular pension for 5 years. In the ‘old’ days (say, 1990s) I’d probably phone some number and it would get done by a specialist. Today, it’s almost impossible to even find a contact form on a site; they suggest creating a Web site “account” (as a person with a pension there I already have an account!) or downloading some “app”. Sorry, not everyone complicates or worsens one’s life with so-called ‘smart’ ‘phones’. Some of us have better ways of getting things done. After several days of them not responding to a complaint of mine I once again told them (in a faceless, voiceless Webform): “Please e-mail me or phone me to arrange this.”

Time will tell if they even bother. If bad service persists, maybe I’ll name the company. It’s pushing my patience (a week already).

Sirius ‘Open Source’ Disregards the Rule of Law and Human Rights

Demolition Man ~ Violation: It's about sharing, not just taking

Summary: The company that I left this month is breaching several regulations and failing to follow the law; to make matters worse, pointing this out from within the company is impermissible and may very well instigate witch-hunts

THE HOLIDAYS are not over, but we’re still in a relatively quiet period of the year. People are resting. Nevertheless, we’re receiving additional information, which we plan to cover next month. As we shall show, under the guise of “manners” and the veneer of “professional” self-appointed enforcers are lying to people and lying about people. It is highly manipulative and it pits Sirius ‘Open Source’ in conflict with human rights, not just labour regulations and ethical codes.

Shown below is a portion of a month-old report (predating my resignation). It highlights the fact that the company where I worked for since early 2011 had gradually become more and more hostile towards its workers — to the point of false accusations and pathological lying.

Adherence to the Rule of Law and Human Rights

From what can be gathered thus far, the company is shooting from the hip, walking in the dark without any legal guidance. From what’s witnessed and what lawyers have made an assessment of, legal protocols are disregarded or simple breached; the managers don’t go through HR as they did before (impartial), probably due to cost-related overheads and a lack of budget/money in the company’s bank account, as can be seen by failure to comply with very basic legal protocols. Very, very basic stuff.

In a society based on the Rule of Law it is important to ensure, at all times, that laws are being followed, including the freedom of expression. A proper investigative process should be based on law-compliant guidelines rather than made up or twisted as one goes along, based on some personal preferences of a self-appointed investigator. Improvised ‘laws’ aren’t laws but kangaroo courts of theatrical nature with arbitrary routines.

Freedom of speech was in general respected, but only selectively (i.e. rules not equally and consistently applied). Inside work, for instance, some people were allowed to express political opinions, whereas others got reprimanded for making a harmless joke pertaining to Donald Trump (whom the company’s founder supports). Is it the case that some workers have the privilege to express political opinions, whereas some are denied that? Is kinship a recipe for immunity, not just a recruitment fast lane?

In the same vein, management can use very crude language at times, but even reasonably polite words used by ordinary staff are spun as “rude” and staff is forbidden from expressing opinions, based on false pretexts of “manners”.

Exploiting and Attacking the Messengers

Does Sirius (still) give anything back to those whose work it is exploiting? Or does it give a shell about Free software communities?

Debian, give me lots of **** free work

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ is in so much technical, legal, and financial trouble that now it is chasing those who criticise the company, even without naming the company or anyone inside the company; this means that on top of being a ‘parasite’ (preying on Free software with false labeling) the company has become a true enemy of freedom of speech, guarding misbehaving people from their critics

THE company I left is in a state of disarray. The management in question was largely exploiting and seeking to start profiting from (aka ‘monetising’) Free-as-in-freedom software without contributing anything back. In recent years it wasn’t even adopting Free software and instead abandoning it in favour of proprietary spyware. There was no debate about it. It’s a one-way relationship.

Similarly, there was a one-way relationship with staff. People were expected to stay up all night, actually working, while some management in daytime failed to do very basic work, very fundamental tasks. High-tech labour with low-end wages may seem sustainable, but as inflation soars it becomes a stretch. Then, the company as a whole becomes untenable.

This past year I started talking privately about the situation with a friend; names of people and names of companies weren’t included (not even Sirius!), but the company was eager to crush staff, silence staff, and dodge liabilities to staff.

Below we include the second part of an extensive section, which will later be supported by hard evidence.

Sirius urgently needs to rename. It is not doing “Open Source”; instead it rips apart the infrastructure that was Open Source, replacing it with proprietary spyware (for a number of years already; this year the trend accelerated further). “Sirius Open Wash” would be a suitable new name for the company, but maybe it’s too late because the company has no future anyway.

The bullying intensified months ago. Managers basically start with the supposition that all workers are guilty of something and then try to dig for “evidence” to justify the foregone conclusion, making up or exaggerating things while resorting to distortion various rules and regulations (gymnastics in logic), reaching out to things said as far back as 4 years ago (when staff had been subjected to bullying from management).

We certainly would have sued Sirius if it wasn’t so broke and operating through shells, at least one of which registered outside the country.

Text from the report included below:

Roy does not talk about the company where he works, at least not by name. He does not mention people and clients of the company. If Roy discusses that with a friend in some chat outside of work, that’s perfectly within his rights. If the company does something wrong and Roy then discusses it with somebody, that might even be a positive contribution. Nobody should be above criticism. If Roy discusses romantic relationship between colleagues without even naming them, that’s perfectly lawful (there’s no need to twist a romantic relationship as “living arrangement”, covering up for how inadequate that is). As the main issue discussed isn’t the nature of the relationship but the nepotism and abject lack of relevant qualification/s, this is a matter of broader or professional interest. It’s not mere gossip and either way, nobody is named. To be very clear, informal IRC chat with one person is not “social media”; pretending that it is would be considered fact-twisting. IRC has been around since the 1980s, Roy has its own IRC network, and there are no companies or “data broker” chewing up this data. The data is maintained in a privacy-conscious manner on a server managed independently. To some people, very fundamental facts about communication tools leads to evasion of proper understanding, either deliberately or accidentally.

The accusations against Roy mostly latch onto cherry-picking of words, all that while ignoring the underlying substance, which is expressed relatively politely (no expletives, but lots of typos because it’s very informal chat). There seems to be a lot of tit-for-tat over the ‘teat’ (to be clear, the company’s high-paid managers were milking Roy for years; Roy’s salary would have increased with inflation by about 40% in 12 years, but that didn’t happen).

So who’s milking who?

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